Saved Individually AND Saved To Community

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12)

The Bible makes it clear that every disciple of Christ is saved individually, but Scripture is equally emphatic in declaring that every disciple of Christ is saved to community. When we, by grace through faith, came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, He placed a new obligation on each of us: Each For the Other!

Our walk with our Lord is a community project. It is a team sport. Christianity is a “Jesus and we” religion, not “Jesus and me,” and that religion is rooted in relationship — both with the Lord Jesus and with each other. As disciples of Jesus, we must never be satisfied with living at the level of “news, weather, and sports” with other member of our faith community. We are to be in committed relationships with each other.

My friend Steve Brown has said that “Everyone who belongs to Jesus belongs to everyone who belongs to Jesus.” In the Kingdom of Christ, there is to be no such thing as a stealth saint. We are to know and be known by our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are part of one body with many members, and each part is valuable and needed. We need each other in order for the body to function properly.

Think about it this way: Are there any parts of your own body that you could readily disconnect from and still function at the highest possible level? Not likely! We all have blind spots, so we need the help of our family of faith to point the way. Physically blind people are well aware that they are blind; spiritually blind people are not. Worse still, most spiritually blind people believe they see with 20/20 vision! That is why we desperately need the grace-filled, Gospel-saturated, Christ-centered eyes of our family of faith to help us see what we cannot see and to sanctify what we cannot sanctify without their help. This is the way Jesus ordained it to be in His body, and this is the way we are to live if we are true disciples of His. Jesus placed us in His forever family so that we will live out our lives with Him in community with each other.

I am going to issue you this challenge: Even if you feel like you don’t want to engage deeply within the body of Christ for your own benefit, do it for the benefit of others. Jesus presented the perfect model of living His life for the good of others and the glory of God. And He did it within the context of community.

Immediately after He washed His disciples’ feet, Jesus told them, “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:15 ESV). Many of you may never get on your hands and knees and literally wash the feet of another person . . . although that might not be a bad idea! But we most definitely are commanded to love one another and serve one another, and we are to called to do that in the context of community. Our Lord set that example for us; how can we do any less?

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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